Monday, June 6, 2016

The Joker Brings 'Spinsanity' to Six Flags Great Adventure's 2016 Season

This summer visitors to New Jersey's Six Flags Great Adventure will find a major new thrilling coaster that delivers a new level of twistedness to the park's already world-class line up of rides, all compliments of The Joker.  The roller coaster has been built along the side of the lake that is adjacent to the theme park in a refreshed area that has an open and inviting vibe.

The Joker stands at an imposing 120 feet above the Lakefront themed area, next to a recently renamed family coaster - now called Harley Quinn Crazy Train.  The two DC Comics villains make nice neighbors for obvious reasons!

The Joker has been created for the park by S&S Worldwide, and is only the second ride of its kind to open - the first was Batman: The Ride at Six Flags Fiesta Texas.  There's a bit of irony in there when you consider the characters both rides are named after!

Known as a 4D Free-Fly coaster, The Joker takes individual cars around a multi-layered vertical course made up of green and purple track, using "onboard magnetic technology" to cause riders' seats to flip during the ride.  Best explained by seeing it, check out these clips:

As you can see, there is a considerable amount of flipping, wild curves and steep plunges that are encountered while on The Joker.

Riders enter the attraction by passing through this massive entrance sign and into the nicely done - and covered from the sun - funhouse type of structure.  The Lakefront area is known for having many fully grown trees, and those extend to the back part of the queue that is outside of this structure.  Riders are eventually split into lines that are for either the green or purple track, and there is also a single rider line as well.

The Joker's individual cars seat eight riders at a time, and the seats face both forward and backwards to add yet another twist to the ride.  There are a total of five trains, so that while one car is finishing up the course another can start up the lift hill.  That can be seen in the above image.  That also means that at the same time there are two additional cars in the load/unload area of the station.

Once the cars move out of the station the seats are no longer held in a locked position, so riders are instantly able to feel them rock slightly due to weight distribution.  This photo shows the train heading up the 120 foot tall vertical lift hill, and since they have not started flipping yet it's noticeable that one row is facing forward while the other is backward.

After the cars crest the top of the lift hill a row of magnets (seen in the upper right of this photo) engage with the train and the flipping begins.  If you look closely here you'll note that the front row is totally upside down, while the back is well on its way.  The Joker utilizes very comfortable vest restraints with additional grab bars that do not block the riders view.

The magnets that are embedded along the track create at least six flips for each rider, according to the theme park.  The cars are also able to flip on their own, however, adding an unpredictable nature to every dispatch.  This is one of those coasters where it is 100% true that no two riders are exactly the same!

Along with a multitude of different styles of bunny hills, The Joker also has two 90 degree "raven" drops that feature a vertical plunge - one of them is seen in the beautiful photo above.  While the magnets influence it some, gravity makes the position of the rider's seat hard to guess when these free-fall moments take place.  The ride experience is not one that builds after the lift, instead it is all out 'spinsanity' as the park calls it from that first flip to the final brakes.

Six Flags Great Adventure already has an amazing collection of roller coasters, including the 128 mile per hour launch of Kingda Ka, crazy air-time of El Toro and Nitro and family rides like Skull Mountain, but The Joker gives an experience unlike of of them.  This further rounds out the park's offerings, and gives guests another reason to visit the park this year!

Many thanks to the park for having us out for The Joker's opening and to Scott and Carol for the wonderful photos.

So true Joker... so true!